When To See The Doctor About Your Child’s Fever

Mark Wealth

New parents will be like, “as long as there’s a fever, I’m yelling, DOCTOR!!!” But the fact is that, not every rise in temperature is bad. There are times when a fever actually means the body is getting ready to defend itself against harmful organisms that have already come in. A rise in temperature is a battle cry for the white blood cells to come out and do their thing.

But…There are times when the temperature rise exceeds the healthy limit. Then you have to call the cops…sorry, the doctor. Here are the fever red flags that should let you know when to call for help.

Age-Specific Limits

Experts say that kids can take temperature increase up to a certain level depending on their age. If your baby is below three months and her temperature rises up to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), it’s time to call the doc. If baby is between three to six months and her temperature reaches 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.333 degrees Celsius), or maybe he is six months and above and his temperature reaches 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.444 degrees Celsius), get on the phone and dial 1-800-DOCTOR or whatever the doc’s number is. These age-Specific temperatures spell bad news for baby.

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Fever Plus

If your baby has a fever and a stiff neck, consult your doctor quickly. This is a sign of meningitis. The child might also be fussy, lacking appetite and spotting skin rashes. Consult the doctor ASAP. Viral meningitis in older kids may not be serious but in younger babies below three months, it could cause developmental problems, deafness and even death.

When The Fever Lingers

If she has high temperature that lasts longer than 72 hours or three days; a fever and sore throat that lasts as longer than a day; or a febrile seizure that goes as long as fifteen minutes or more are all signs that there is a more serious issue than just the fever. A febrile seizure is when the child has high temperature accompanied by convulsions. If your baby convulsed for up to fifteen minutes, speed dial a medical professional. Something isn’t right.

Dehydrating Fever

If the fever comes with signs of dehydration, your baby’s health is at risk. Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in or if list fluid us not adequately replaced. Signs of dehydration include an absence of tears when baby cries, low rate of urination  (once in 8 – 10 hours) or dark coloured urine, dry or cracked lips, weakness/low energy and sunken eye sockets or soft spot on baby’s head.

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Change Of Environment

If you guys have just returned from a trip overseas and baby starts getting a fever, let your doctor know about it. It may be that your child got an infection while in the foreign country. The doctor may have to run some tests to find out if the infection is different from what obtains in the home country. This is so that he can prescribe the appropriate treatment. Same thing applies if you just travelled and baby starts running temperature over there. You need to check that out with an expert.

Mid treatment

If you child is undergoing treatment for some other infection and he/she starts running high temperature, you should see the doctor immediately. The child’s immune system may be weak and not able to fight any new attacks. The doctor has to take a look at the baby to be sure of the next step.

Some parents panic when their babies get a fever. They start making moves to quell the fever. Just remember: fever means that there is an attack from some alien virus, fungus or bacteria. Taking steps to tackle the high temperature without dealing with the cause of the fever is a step in the wrong direction: the temperature is just going to come back.

Do not try to treat your baby by yourself. Go see a doctor because your baby’s system is not strong enough to withstand the infection and unnecessary drugs in his her body.

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